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Jurong EC units snapped up ahead of cooling measures

SINGAPORE — Jurong executive condominium (EC) Lake Life smashed the record for the number of e-applications yesterday, boosted by property hunters rushing in to catch the final few developments that will escape EC-specific curbs for second-timers announced last December.

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SINGAPORE — Jurong executive condominium (EC) Lake Life smashed the record for the number of e-applications yesterday, boosted by property hunters rushing in to catch the final few developments that will escape EC-specific curbs for second-timers announced last December.

An hour before applications closed yesterday, the 546-unit EC in the Jurong Lake District was more than three times subscribed, with 1,828 applicants — the previous highest was Heron Bay’s 1,664 in 2012. About two-thirds of Lake Life’s applicants were second-timers.

Noting that Lake Life is one of the last five projects that will not be affected by the resale levy rule — applicable only to EC land sales launched on or after Dec 9 last year — analysts were unsurprised by the strong demand.

The EC market will cool once the resale levy kicks in for the dozen or so projects that will be launched in the next 18 months and developers will have to price their projects more attractively, they added.

“Increasingly, from next year and into the first half of 2016, the sale of ECs is going to be challenging because the new projects in 2015 will be affected by second-timers’ resale levy — that’ll be a major stumbling block,” said SLP International’s executive director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak.

ERA’s key executive officer Eugene Lim added: “While there’s no issue of a supply glut, there will be many EC launches, so developers should not expect their projects to be snapped up.”

Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority projects that around 14,000 EC units will be completed between this year and 2017.

Along with the slew of launches in the past three years, this is exhausting the pool of potential buyers, Century 21 Singapore’s chief executive Ku Swee Yong said. “That’s why I believe Lake Life’s success is a one-off incident due mostly to its location. Developers are becoming cautious — recently, an EC tender in Sembawang received only two bids.”

But PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail feels bullish about the demand for ECs. “The demand for ECs will continue to be there despite cooling measures (as) they are priced 20 to 30 per cent lower than mass-market private condos.”

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